Quality early care and education is important for young children and their families. Parents, educators, business leaders and public policy officials want the best for young children.
- Educators are concerned about children’s learning.
- Employers are interested in support for working parents
- Policy makers view child care as an economic development issue.
- Parents want safe and nurturing care.
In the first five years of life, a child in full time care will spend 13,000 hours in care. By comparison, over the next 13 years, children spend 16,000 hours in school. Educators, policy makers and parents are concerned about the quality of this time, because we now know that the first three to five years of a child’s brain development form a crucial foundation for later development. Research also shows the quality of child care influences how well children will do in school later on -- both academically and socially.
Iowa State University is conducting a number of exciting research studies examining Iowa’s child care. Key findings:
Iowa caregivers also report:
- Lower levels of education
- Low income
- Lack of benefits
- High turnover rates
- Inadequate training history
In the 2003 Early Care and Education Workforce Study (pdf), a very high percentage of teachers and assistant teachers reported that they had not completed the hours of annual training required by licensing during the previous 12 months.
Check out the following research articles to learn more about important early childhood research being conducted by Iowa State: